When I was a teen, long before I even knew for sure that I would get married, I began documenting some of my thoughts and feelings about marriage, family, and life in general in some letters. I planned to give these letters to my husband if I was blessed with one someday. This may seem like an odd approach to some of you, but for someone like me who loves to express herself and process things through writing, it was very meaningful.
As I grew into my mid-twenties and watched all of my friends marry and begin families, my desire for marriage increased (though it seemed more elusive than ever). During this season, as I hoped and prayed for a husband, I tucked those letters in the front cover of a journal and began documenting my thoughts there instead. A couple of years later, the Lord answered my prayer for a husband with this man.
I gave him the letters and journal shortly after we got married. A few months after that, I realized there was no reason for me to stop writing in the journal. I don’t do it all of the time, but every now and then I add something. I’ve discovered that there are several awesome reasons to keep doing this.
Benefits of journaling for your husband
- You can review the things you love about him. At some point during a difficult day in your marriage, you will probably pause and wonder why it was that you married this person. I don’t have to wonder because I have the answer written down. During our engagement, I sent my husband a daily email that contained one reason why I was excited to marry him. Now that we’re married, I occasionally write in the journal reasons why I’m glad I married him. I have literally hundreds of reasons documented. When I feel frustrated about something he does, I can read over those reasons and see the big picture: He is a good man and there are so many reasons why I’m glad I married him!
- You can process things without talking his ear off. Though there are exceptions, most women like to use lots of words to talk through things, while men prefer using few words (or perhaps a couple of grunts) and feel there is nothing more to say. By writing in a journal, I’m able to express all of my thoughts and process them without my husband having to listen to it. Honestly, I’m not sure he minds listening (like some men likely do), but it is still nice to give him an occasional break.
- You can see how you’ve grown and where you still need growth. Unlike when you think thoughts or have discussions with your spouse, the things you write in a journal are preserved for you to review at a later time. When I review what I’ve written for my husband, I’m inspired and encouraged. I see how much hope and enthusiasm I had for our marriage. I see things we’ve struggled with and how we’ve overcome them. I see things we still need to work on. All of these motivate me to continue pouring effort into our relationship.
- You can express your love for him in an ongoing love letter. What husband doesn’t appreciate a handwritten love note from his wife? A journal allows you to write a love note in an open-ended manner. When my husband needs words of affirmation or encouragement, he can always find them by reading through the journal. This doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t send encouragement notes in his lunch box or send him loving text messages, but it is nice to have ongoing expressions of my love for him documented in a more permanent way where he always knows where to find them.
- You can use the journal to catalyze your shared spiritual growth. My husband and I want to grow in our faith together and be spiritually close. Journaling helps with this. My husband can read prayers I’ve prayed for him, he can see what’s on my mind in regards to our marriage, and it’s a way I can be accountable to him for goals I’ve set that are related to our marriage. Overall, it’s one of many ways that we make sure we are sharing all dimensions of our lives—one thing I think is key to a couple’s spiritual growth.
I’ve written this from the perspective of a wife journaling for her husband. Though I can’t be certain, I imagine these same (or similar) benefits apply to husbands journaling for their wives.
Do you write letters or keep a journal for your husband? How is this beneficial to your relationship?
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